You know how they say “Timing is everything”? Well, apparently so does Google. Less than a week after the head of Dow Jones whines about Google sucking newspapers’ lifeblood like a vampire (no, seriously, he said that), Google helpfully instructs news publishers on how to share their videos with the search giant.
Thankfully, unlike many newspapers, most news video publishers seem to be a little more “with it.” Google is asking them to become YouTube Partners. In exchange for their original, professional content, Google says its partners gain (emphasis added):
- Featured Premium Placement. YouTube news partners receive featured placement on the YouTube news page, youtube.com/news, where we feature news videos from partners related to the top news stories on Google News. In addition, if you allow your videos to be embedded, they’ll be eligible to appear on Google News, which means additional exposure to all Google News users.
- Cut Costs, Generate Revenue. YouTube offers free hosting for all of your video content and allows you to embed your videos anywhere on the web for free. And as an official YouTube partner, you’re eligible to participate in an advertising revenue share program.
- Viewership Analysis. Learn more about the people viewing and interacting with your videos. Use YouTube’s Insight tool to easily discover troves of useful demographic information and understand what parts of your videos people liked or didn’t like. Geographic information provided can help you focus your marketing efforts.
- Wider Audience. YouTube and Google News have millions of visitors every day searching for the latest news and information. Raise awareness around your brand and reach new audiences by making your video content available on YouTube and Google News. As a YouTube partner, you can maintain your brand’s look-and-feel with your own customized YouTube channel, and you can also drive traffic back to your own website.
- Community. At its core, YouTube is a rich social environment that includes thousands of micro-communities. Build one around your content by encouraging people to interact through comments and video responses. Take advantage of YouTube as a social platform.
Somehow, although I do think most video news sites are more “with it,” I don’t know that they’re quite ready to give over that much control to Google. The benefits are pretty persuasive, but they might not be worth the loss of control.
However, I’m sure that at least a few video publishers will complain about Google stealing their content, visitors and ad dollars (even though this is completely opt-in. But hey, so is participating in Google News or its index, so hey, why start applying logic now?). To those . . . “forward thinkers,” I reiterate Andy’s advice on dealing with the undead (ie Google):
Without Google sending millions of daily visitors to newspaper web sites–for FREE–the newspaper industry would have being snuggling up to the Dodo a long time ago. . . .
People want to read news online. They don’t want to pay for it. They use Google. Google sends you the bulk of your daily web site visitors. Either figure out how to monetize those visitors–like the rest of the world–or block Google via your robots.txt file and shut up!
What do you think? Do the benefits of partnering with YouTube outweigh the costs? Or should news sites get while the gettin’s good?